Presentation on theme: "Solar Energy We can use the sun’s energy every day."— Presentation transcript:
Solar Energy We can use the sun’s energy every day.
The sun is a giant ball of gas. It sends out huge amounts of energy every day.
Nuclear Fusion The Sun is made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. It makes energy in its inner core in a process called nuclear fusion.
Solar Radiation Every day the sun radiates (sends out) an enormous amount of energy.
Solar Energy travels from the sun to the earth in rays. Some are light rays that we can see. Some we can’t see, like x-rays.
Plants use the light from the sun to grow. Plants take the energy in light and store it in their roots and leaves. The energy feeds every living thing on earth. Plants Depend on Solar Energy
We Depend on Solar Energy Sunlight turns into heat when it hits things. Without the sun we couldn’t live on earth- it would be too cold. All day, we use sunlight to see what we’re doing and where we’re going.
Heating water and drying clothes Warming our homes We Use Solar Energy For: Generating electricity.
A solar collector is one way to capture sunlight and change it into usable heat. Solar Collectors
A car on a hot, sunny day becomes a solar collector. The car’s windows let light in, but they don’t let all the heat out. A closed car can get very hot!
Solar Cells Another type of solar collector is a solar cell. Solar cells turn light energy into electricity.
Big solar cells can make enough electricity for a house!
Our houses can use solar cells in two ways: As Solar Thermal Systems As Photovoltaic Cells
Solar Thermal Systems Special collectors that look like glass are mounted on the rooftop. Dark-colored metal plates inside the boxes absorb sunlight and change it into heat. Air or water flows through the collector and is warmed by the heat, which is then distributed through the house.
Solar cells are Photovoltaic cells. Photovoltaic comes from photo, meaning light, and volt, a measure of electricity Electricity is produced when sunlight strikes the solar cell, causing electrons to move around. The action of the electrons starts an electric current. Photovoltaic Cells
Examples of photovoltaic cells are solar-powered calculators and roadside telephone call boxes. Photovoltaic Cells
Solar Energy is Renewable Solar energy is free and clean! There is enough for everyone, and we will never run out of it!
Every day enough solar energy reaches the earth to supply our nation’s energy needs for a year! Solar Energy is Renewable
So why don’t we use the sun for ALL our Energy Needs? We don’t really know how to yet!
The hard part is capturing enough sunlight. The sun shines all over the earth, but only a little bit reaches any one place. On a cloudy day, most of the light never reaches the ground at all.
Scientists are looking for new ways to capture and use solar energy.
Right now scientists are studying huge solar power towers as one possible solution. The Solar Tower laboratory at the Weizmann Institute of Science
Solar Power Tower Solar Power Towers capture sunlight to generate electricity. Each tower may have up to a thousand mirrors connected to it! Scientists are testing these towers for large-scale power grids.
Discussion Questions Do you use solar power at your house? Are solar panels cheaper or more expensive to use than electricity generated by coal? Do you think Texas is a good area of the United States to use solar power? Why or why not?